Al-Isra wal Miraj is one of the most notable events in the history of Islam. It was miraculous in the same way the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him. It was during this event that the Prophet traveled from Makkah to Jerusalem in one night. From there he ascended to the seven heavens where he met Prophets Adam, Yaḥyā (John), Īsā (Jesus), Yūsuf (Joseph), Idrīs, Hārūn (Aaron), Mūsā (Moses), and Ibrāhīm (Abraham). God’s peace be upon them all. It was also during this miraculous evening that the obligation to offer five daily prayers was established and set.
There are many lessons from Isra and Miraj. Although not known for certain, many scholars believe that these events took place around the 27th of Rajab in the year 621. Currently Isra and Miraj is observed on the 27th of Rajab with Muslims sharing the story of the events and praying in congregational prayer.
Besides the miraculous nature of the occurrence itself in the life of Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, and the believers, there is much that we can learn and apply to our lives today as we seek to submit to Allah, The Most High.
- The first thing Al-Isra wal Miraj teaches us is that after hardship, there is ease. Before this auspicious night, the Prophet had experienced loss, grief, hardship, and oppression. The Quraysh were rejecting his message and openly attempting to humiliate and harm him as he no longer had the protection of his uncle Abu Talib who had died. He was also grieving the loss of his beloved wife, Khadijah, may God be pleased with her. These trials were significant, and experiencing the Isra and Miraj demonstrated the Mercy and Bounty of Allah.
So, surely with hardship comes ease.
- In Islamic history, it was reported that the Prophet experienced this miraculous event while he was staying with his cousin Umm Hani (the daughter of Abu Talib). These wondrous events occurred over the course of the night. Although Umm Hani believed him immediately, she surmised that the Quraysh would never believe that the Prophet could travel from Makkah to Jerusalem in one evening and did not want him to relay the story of this occurrence. But of course he did and the believers accepted his account with unwavering faith in its truth. Thus, this story demonstrates the importance of trust and belief in the unseen and believing that Islam is the true path to eternal salvation.
So put your trust in Allah, for you are surely upon the ˹Path of˺ clear truth
- Miraj means “ladder, to elevate, or to ascend”. In relation to the events of that night, this indicates a spiritual elevation that is within the potential of all of humankind as a means of growing closer in devotion and reverence towards Allah. It is through elevation of our acts of worship that we will be raised up in position.
And rise at the last part of the night, offering additional prayers,
so your Lord may raise you to a station of praise.
(Quran 17: 79)
- During the events of Al-Isra wal Miraj, Prophet Muhammad, God’s peace and blessings be upon him, led 124,000 prophets in prayer. He was also greeted by Prophets Adam, Isa, Yahya, Yusef, Idris, Harun, and Ibrahim. God’s peace be upon them all. The events of that night established his role as the last and final messenger of Allah.
Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allah….
Salah, Wahi and Ibadah (Prayer, Revelation, and Worship of God)
- While visiting the seventh heaven, the Prophet came upon the lote tree. Here, he was told to have the believers pray 50 times a day. He accepted this, and as he was about to return to the earth, Prophet Musa, God’s peace be upon him, advised that 50 prayers a day may be too much. The Prophet went back nine additional times until the number of prayers was reduced to five times each day, but with the blessed caveat that these five prayers would have the weight of, and will be counted as 50.
- It was while the Prophet was in the seventh heaven that Allah revealed His message to him.
Then Allah revealed to His servant what He revealed (through Gabriel)
- The revelation about prayer helped the believers understand some aspects of Ibadah (worship) as the best way to worship Allah was revealed.
I have not created jinn and the human being but that they worship me
(Quran 51: 55)
Rajab (The Seventh Month Of The Islamic Calendar)
- The events of Al-Isra wal Miraj teach us the significance of the month of Rajab. Rajab is one of the four sacred months in which Allah has specified and commanded the believers to not wrong themselves therein. It is the start of the time in which we begin preparation for the blessed month of Ramadan. Even the Arabic root letters for ‘Rajab’ - ra’, jeem, and ba’- are a sign because they mean “supporting and strengthening something with another”.
Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are Sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein.
Al-Aqsa (Referring To Al-Alqsa Mosque in Jerusalem)
- The importance of Masjid Al-Aqsa to Muslims as a holy place is emphasized in the events of Al-Isra wal Miraj. The gathering of Messengers and their congregational offering of prayer in that location solidified it as a place of significance to all who believe in One God.
Glory be to the One Who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose surroundings We have blessed, so that We may show him some of Our signs. Indeed, He alone is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.